Ted Teat: Norfolk farmer’s nationally-important tractor collection

Ted Teat, 73, with fond memories of each of his 52 tractors he is to sell at Hingham.<copy - Mike Po

Ted Teat, 73, with fond memories of each of his 52 tractors he is to sell at Hingham. <copy - Mike Pollitt> 1 of 7 - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

A mid-Norfolk farmer, Ted Teat, who has died aged 85, built up a nationally-important collection of vintage and classic tractors.

When he held a dispersal sale of his 52 tractors and horse-drawn machinery in 2001, it attracted buyers from across the country to Pond Farm, Hingham.

He had started driving a tractor at the age of 10 and remarkably, at a farm sale almost 40 years later, was able to buy that very machine.

Born in 1927, he took over the family's 56-acre farm on his father's death in 1954. Always fascinated by all aspects of machinery, he had bought his first classic tractor in 1983 and then spent hours restoring farm machinery over the next couple of decades.

Mr Teat, who comes from a long line of farmers, worked on the nearby estate during the war. When he bought his first classic tractor, which he had driven in 1944, it was in a distressed state in 1983. It cost him a grand total of £25 and the hours spent restoring the machine to its former glory.

Over the years, he extended his range of interest to tractors, crawlers and a select number of foreign machines. He acquired several unusual tractors, including a 1944 Minneapolis Moline Model U, thought to have been recovered from Liverpool docks during the war. The vessel, which was shipping the tractors from the USA, was sunk by enemy action. Others included a 1946 Field Marshall Series 1 and six Allis Chalmers tractors, ranging in dates from 1936 to 1950.

He had seven crawlers including an International BTD5, dating from 1964, which was number 25 of a run of 160 built at Doncaster.

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He is survived by his widow, Violet, two children, Raymond and Janet, and grandchildren, Emma and Tim. A funeral has been held at Hingham Church.

Michael Pollitt